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Can You Drink Tap Water in Panama City?
Yes, Panama City's tap water is generally considered safe to drink as Panama City has no active health based violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that we are aware of. Other factors such as lead piping in a home, or low levels of pollutants on immunocompromised individuals, should also be considered, however. To find more recent info we might have, you can check out our boil water notice page or the city's water provider website.
According the EPA’s ECHO database, from April 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022, Panama City's water utility, Bay County Water System, had 0 violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. For more details on the violations, please see our violation history section below. The last violation for Panama City was resolved on Oct. 31, 2018. This assessment is based on the Bay County Water System water system, other water systems in the city may have different results.
While tap water that meets the EPA health guidelines generally won’t make you sick to your stomach, it can still contain regulated and unregulated contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run. These trace contaminants may also impact immunocompromised and vulnerable individuals.
Panama City Tap Water Safe Drinking Water Act Violation History - Prior 10 Years
Below is a ten year history of violations for the water system named Bay County Water System for Panama City in Florida. For more details please see the "What do these Violations Mean?" section below.
From Oct. 1, 2018 to Oct. 31, 2018, Panama City had 1 non-health based Safe Drinking Water Act violation with the violation category being Monitoring and Reporting, more specifically, the violation code was Monitoring, Turbidity (Enhanced SWTR) which falls into the Microbials rule code group, and the Surface Water Treatment Rules rule code family for the following contaminant code: Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule.
Is there Lead in Panama City Water?
Based on the EPA’s ECHO Database, 90% of the samples taken from the Panama City water system, Bay County Water System, between sample start date and sample end date, were at or below, 0.001 mg/L of lead in Panama City water. This is 6.7% of the 0.015 mg/L action level. This means 10% of the samples taken from Panama City contained more lead.
While Panama City water testing may have found 0.001 mg/L of lead in its water, that does not mean your water source has the same amount. The amount of lead in water in a city can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even building to building. Many buildings, particularly older ones, have lead pipes or service lines which can be a source of contamination. To find out if your home has lead, we recommend getting you water tested.
No amount of lead in water is healthy, only less dangerous. As lead accumulates in our bodies over time, even exposure to relatively small amounts can have negative health effects. For more information, please check out our Lead FAQ page.
Are there PFAS in Panama City Tap Water?
Currently, testing tap water for PFAS isn’t mandated on a national level. We do have a list of military bases where there have been suspected or confirmed leaks. There appears to be at least one military base - NSWC DIV PANAMA CITY - near Panama City with suspected leaks.
With many potential sources of PFAS in tap water across the US, the best information we currently have about which cities have PFAS in their water is this ewg map, which you can check to see if Panama City has been evaluated for yet.
Our stance is better safe than sorry, and that it makes sense to try to purify the tap water just in case.
Panama City SDWA Violation History Table - Prior 10 Years
|Compliance Period||Status||Health-Based?||Category Code||Code||Rule Code||Contaminant Code||Rule Group Code||Rule Family Code|
|10/01/2018 - 10/31/2018||Resolved||No||Monitoring and Reporting (MR)||Monitoring, Turbidity (Enhanced SWTR) (38)||Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (122)||Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (0300)||Microbials (100)||Surface Water Treatment Rules (120)|
What do these Violations Mean?
Safe Drinking Water Act Violations categories split into two groups, health based, and non-health based. Generally, health based violations are more serious, though non-health based violations can also be cause for concern.
Health Based Violations
- Maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) - maximum allowed contaminant level was exceeded.
- Maximum residual disinfectant levels (MRDLs) - maximum allowed disinfectant level was exceeded.
- Other violations (Other) - the exact required process to reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water was not followed.
Non-Health Based Violations
- Monitoring and reporting violations (MR, MON) - failure to conduct the required regular monitoring of drinking water quality, and/or to submit monitoring results on time.
- Public notice violations (Other) - failure to immediately alert consumers if there is a serious problem with their drinking water that may pose a risk to public health.
- Other violations (Other) - miscellaneous violations, such as failure to issue annual consumer confidence reports or maintain required records.
SDWA Table Key
|Compliance Period||Dates of the compliance period.|
Current status of the violation.
|Health-Based?||Whether the violation is health based.|
The category of violation that is reported.
|Code||A full description of violation codes can be accessed in the SDWA_REF_CODE_VALUES (CSV) table.|
|Contaminant Code||A code value that represents a contaminant for which a public water system has incurred a violation of a primary drinking water regulation.|
Code for a National Drinking Water rule.
|Rule Group Code||
Code that uniquely identifies a rule group.
|Rule Family Code||
Code for rule family.
For more clarification please visit the EPA's data dictionary.
Panama City Water - Frequently Asked Questions
|By Mail:||3410 TRANSMITTER ROAD
PANAMA CITY, FL, 32404
Existing customers can login to their Bay County Water System account to pay their Panama City water bill by clicking here.
If you want to pay your Bay County Water System bill online and haven't made an account yet, you can create an account online. Please click here to create your account to pay your Panama City water bill.
If you don't want to make an account, or can't remember your account, you can make a one-time payment towards your Panama City water bill without creating an account using a one time payment portal with your account number and credit or debit card. Click here to make a one time payment.
Moving to a new house or apartment in Panama City means you will often need to put the water in your name with Bay County Water System. In order to put the water in your name, please click the link to the start service form below. Start service requests for water bills typically take two business days.
Leaving your house or apartment in Panama City means you will likely need to take your name off of the water bill with Bay County Water System. In order to take your name off the water bill, please click the link to the stop service form below. Stop service for water bills requests typically take two business days.
The estimated price of bottled water
$1.50 in USD (1.5-liter)
USER SUBMITTED RATINGS
- Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 37% Low
- Water Pollution 37% Low
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 63% High
- Water Quality 63% High
The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Panama City, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).
Panama City Water System
EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.
- Serves: 37640
- Data available: 2012-2017
- Data Source: Purchased surface water
- Total: 12
Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines
- Radium%2C combined (-226 & -228)*
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Other Detected Contaminants
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.
Sources and Resources
Recently, I had a conversation with a local physician in Panama City, Florida, and he told me that he believed the county-wide testing was no longer accurate. He was concerned that his patients would be getting worse because of all of the contamination due to a lack of adequate treatment. He said a significant amount of pharmaceutical contamination in tap water came into his practice. He constantly had to remind his patients to get tested for contamination. His biggest worry is that his patients could be getting “precarcinogens” and carcinogens from the chlorination of the supply.
I asked him how he felt about drinking contaminated water. He answered, “drink it, if it’s contaminated. If I have to drink it, I’ll say that’s as much of a risk as I’m willing to take.” He explained that most doctors don’t even inform their patients that they might be at risk for certain types of illness from the contamination of the city’s water supply. So, in his opinion, doctors were not protecting their patients, and neither was the public.
The contamination of the Panama City, Florida tap water comes when there are so many questions being asked about the safety of our drinking supply. In fact, a task force is currently looking into the contamination of public and private water supplies across the country. The task force is also examining the use of chlorine in treating our water. However, one thing that must be considered with all of the contamination of our supplies is the possibility of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants entering our system through rain and the ingestion of wildlife, including birds, which often carry disease.